Hardcore Landscaping

Hardcore Landscaping

There are several ways to cultivate a garden, and Hardcore Landscaping is one that is rapidly growing in popularity due to its simplicity and low maintenance; meaning that if you want a beautiful-looking garden design but have a hectic lifestyle, this landscaping design idea is perfect for you.

In this article, we want to introduce you to the art of Hardcore Landscaping to hopefully inspire you to give it a go in your garden.

What is Hardcore Landscaping

Hardcore Landscaping refers to the practice of using building ‘rubble’ and hardcore materials to create a beautiful garden. This is a unique practice as it does not rely on soil or watering in order for the plants to grow.

You may be confused as to how plants can grow without soil, but it is not true that plants can ONLY grow on fresh soil. As a matter of fact, ‘dirty soil’ or ‘rubble soil’ is just as effective in growing stronger plants that will last both rain and drought for a fresh-looking garden all year round.

Not only can you garden with ‘impure’ soil, but there are now also ways to garden on pure sand, which again, requires pretty much no watering, ideal for a busy lifestyle.

In recent years, Hardcore Landscaping has been growing in popularity due to its positive impact on the environment. This was further highlighted by the emphasis on sustainability at this year's Chelsea Flower Show, which wanted to bring to attention the UK's depleting nature and biodiversity by handing out an award for the most sustainable garden project out there. 

Benefits of Hardcore Landscaping

There are a wide range of benefits in having a Hardcore Landscape, We have listed out just a few to show you how you would be able to take advantage of this.

Environmentally Friendly Garden

There are many environmental benefits to having a hardcore landscape. Including but not limited to an increase in biodiversity; having a range of over eight hundred plants that you can choose from; and finally, both sand and gravel are good for garden drainage therefore you reduce your garden getting flooded substantially. Now more than ever, households are paying lots of attention to their impact on the environment, therefore creating a hardcore garden is a pretty good start.

Garden Maintenance

Many of us don’t have the time or willingness to spend long periods of time on our garden, and therefore hardcore landscaping is low maintenance in the long run. This means that after the first season where you have taken care to water it carefully, you really don’t have to worry about it in the future. This ease of use may encourage those who are not that interested in the garden to give it a go.


A garden is a long-time commitment and often times it can get a little overwhelming with all the things you can do in your outdoor space. With rubble landscaping, there is really not much to it. Once you have created your base, added your plants and made sure to water properly during the first season, you’re good to go; nothing complicated is required at all. This means that whether you have a big or small garden or aren’t able to afford too much garden equipment, you will be sorted.


As mentioned above, there is really nothing complicated when it comes to setting up your own Hardcore Landscaping. This is a good way to encourage new gardeners to get started so that they can easily follow and therefore won’t get lost during their garden project.

Weed-free Garden

One of the biggest disadvantages of planting on fresh, clean soil is that almost always results in weeds growing and spreading throughout your garden. Hardcore Landscaping is an easy solution to prevent and nearly eradicate weeds from your garden as it’s much harder for them to sprout from rubble. This is a huge advantage as it means that you won’t be wasting your time de-weeding your garden constantly.


If you are a fan of having a bright, blooming garden all year round then Hardcore Landscaping is the way forward for you. This style of gardening allows you to plant over eight hundred different types of plants that are hardy, drought-resistant and impervious to all kinds of weather; meaning that you will always have something growing in your garden no matter the season.

How to Create a Garden with Hardcore

To begin with, we suggest you start working on your garden during the autumn season as it gives your plants more time to acclimate to their environment.

Create your garden base with materials like gravel, crushed tarmac, crushed concrete or sharp sand. All of these materials are excellent for creating an effective Hardcore Landscape.

As mentioned before, there are a plethora of plants that you can add to your garden, so you will not run the risk of having a lack of things to plant. A couple of examples of things you can plant are Alliums or Tulips – both will make your garden fresher and more colourful.

Keep in mind that once you have added your plants to the gravel, they grow much slower than they would on a pure soil base. Therefore, if you do notice that they are not growing at a pace they normally would, that is not out of the ordinary – it’s a good way to test your patience!

Although we have stated that Hardcore Landscaping is low maintenance, the first season after planting is still very important. During this time, you have to ensure that the area is well watered so they have the best chance to grow. We would recommend you be as vigilant during this period as possible as this won’t be required much after the plants have grown.

Finally, we would recommend keeping an eye on your gravel, crushed aggregates and sand and topping them up when required to your garden doesn’t seem lacking.